Updated November 7, 2011 by: Jon Roszak, Andy Harding, Don Daley
Our Project Goals For our community service project we helped improve the Knot Garden behind Bonney Castle. The project we completed was to prep the outside bed for planting. This included pulling out weeds and invasive trees and plants such as poison ivy and poison oak. The next task was to mulch the bed in order to provide a sustainable environment for the new plants and trees. After the mulching was completed we then planted new, native trees and plants. Through this community service project we hope to bring awareness to the community of the importance of sustainability. Sustainability is important in our current environment because we are quickly depleting our resources. Our project was intended to help sustain the local environment at Hiram College by improving the quality of the Knot Garden. The goal of our project was to bring awareness to the Hiram College community on the importance of building a sustainable environment. Sustainability is a key factor in the upkeep of local environments. Watershed Improvement By adding mulch we increased the ground cover which in turn slowed the flow of water. This improved the watershed by preventing flooding by increasing the amount of area to absorb excess water run-off. The removal of invasive plants also helped the watershed. The invasive species suck up all of the same nutrients that help absorb excess water. By removing these plants we allowed the natural plant species to flourish and provide a sustainable environment where the water can be absorbed as it should. Bonney Castel Garden History The Bonney Castle house garden is known for it's plentiful vegetation and scenery. It was originally created as a formal English garden in 1974, it is now a special project taken on by the Hiram Alumni association to connect the weekend college garden with a path into the woods. Due to its beautiful scenery it is a favorite spot for get togethers and even weddings. The community service work that is put into the garden continues to improve it and restore it to its former glory. What We Did We removed invasive species of ground cover such as poison ivy, poison oak, and Bishop's weed. The removal of the poison ivy and poison oak was necessary because as invasive species they move into an area and choke out the growth of all other plant species, including native plants. The invasive species require the same type of nutrition so they then suck out all of the same nutrition from the soil. This depletes the soil and makes it even more difficult for natural species to grow back. The next part of our community service project was to remove invasive and dead trees. The invasive trees that we removed were mainly Maple trees. This required digging them out at the root to prevent them from growing back. After the trees were removed we then removed a large amount of Bishop's weeds. These were very difficult to remove becuase the root must be fully removed or the weed would grow right back. We attempted to accomplish this but after a while we realized that it would take way too much time and that light pesticides would need to be used on them at a later date to completely kill them off. The final step of our project was to mulch the areas in which we had just weeded. The mulch provides nutrients to the natural plants that will be planted there. It also helps the watershed by giving an added area for the water to be absorbed and prevent further run-off.